The cost of being fit

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I was watching t.v. last night and yet another Jenny Craig commercial came on with Queen Latifah urging people to join and get healthy. It got me thinking back to years ago when I joined Jenny Craig and how expensive it was. I think by the time I quit I had spent somewhere around $1,200 in program costs and food. Crazy! The cost of it all was ultimately why I quit. I had lost almost 20 pounds so it wasn't that it wasn't working. I ended up gaining most of the weight back afterwards since the program doesn't teach you anything about calories, portion control, etc., but that's a different story( I would not recommend Jenny Craig to all my friends). I was thinking how much money I had saved, losing over 40 pounds on my own this time, until I realized that it's not entirely true that I saved money. While I don't pay a diet company to meet with a consultant and eat their pre packaged, portion controlled food, I have spent and continue to spend money on getting and staying healthy. When I started tallying up the things I have spent money on to achieve a healthy lifestyle it was shocking. This is a list of the things I've spent money on over the last year related to health and fitness.

Garmin Forerunner 205.........$220
Polar F6 HRM.........$120
Running Apparel......$150
Health o Meter Digital Scale......$25
Gym Membership......$250
Race Registration Fees......$250
Dumbbells.....$50 (why are these so expensive?)
Additional grocery costs (It's not fair that it costs more to eat healthier).......$30x52 weeks=$1560
Magazine Subscriptions to Runner's World & Oxygen......$60
Asics Gel 1110 Running shoes (I used to wear whatever was cheapest at Walmart).......$120

This all adds up to a grand total of $2,905 and I'm sure there are things I'm missing. Now I'm not saying that I absolutely needed all that stuff to get to where I am today, but I feel it was certainly a big part of my success. My first thought after seeing the grand total was wow, I'd better not show this to my husband:) I have been known to bend the truth a little when he asks how much certain things costs, especially race entry fees. He might change his supportive tune if he knew how much was being spent. I started to think that maybe I'm selfish wanting all these things, and sometimes telling myself that I need them, but I also have to look at what I'm saving. I'm saving my health, both mental and physical and how can you really put a price on that. I'm probably also saving a ton in divorce costs since I don't think I'd be a very happy person if I didn't exercise. Whenever I'm grumpy and getting on DH's nerves he always tells me to go the gym. He's so right, I haven't found a better sanity saver yet than running. So in the end the benefits by far outweigh the costs and that's exactly what I'll explain to DH when I tell him all about the 3 races I found online today that I plan on running :)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD3004347
    Apart from the food and registration costs, a lot of the money you have spent are one off purchases (or at least they will last you a number of years).

    I'd rather spend money on fitness and nutrition than doctors, hospitals and medication. One of the commercials we have at the moment says you can find time for exercise now or for doctors later and I think the same goes for expenses.

    4551 days ago
  • no profile photo CD659896
    Here too!

    Elliptical - $4500
    treadmill - $1000
    Weight Set for home - $1000
    DVD's for home - Cant even add it all up there are so many
    2 New pairs of running shoes every 6 months - $200 - $250
    New clothes every 4 weeks since I wear mine all the time - $150 - $200
    Oh yeah, 2 gym memberships - $200 total a month
    Garmin Forerunner: $200

    And get this, my dd does gymnastics, karate, and tennis so add another $400 a month for her plus the seasonal soccer fees. Cant say she is not active though.

    And do Directv/Tivo/Big screen just for my fitness room count?!

    All worth it baby. Wouldnt trade it for the world!

    i dont do races but I am sure they add for you!
    4568 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/22/2008 10:24:30 AM
  • no profile photo CD1183523
    I don't even want to start adding up how much I've spent on getting healthy...hehe We're WORTH IT though! Plus in the end it benefits our guys and our kid(s). :) Go you signing up for more races! I love researching races in the area! Where do you go to look?
    4583 days ago
  • no profile photo SWIMMERYOGINI
    You have NOTHING to explain: YOU are WORTH it!
    4587 days ago
  • BRUIN2
    Awesome cost benefit analysis!!! What do you think your "balance sheet" would look like if you weren't living this way now?

    Dairy Queen.....$22
    New work pants (b/c old ones are too small)....$94
    Extra gas (b/c I don't walk or bike anywhere).....$350/year
    on for ailments that would disappear if I was healthy....$250
    Junk food (per week)...$97

    Ok, I jest, but I'm sure being unhealthy costs more (short and long term) than being healthy!

    Just enjoy all of those toys (I think I'm ready for a garmin...hehehe)! And what DH doesn't know about race fees...well.... Tell him you're saving money in pyjamas because you're set with all the race shirts!

    Great blog!
    4587 days ago
    I think about this one all of the time: "It's not fair that it costs more to eat healthier". Why is it more expensive to eat healthy and cheaper to buy the foods & snacks with the stuff in them that is so unhealthy for us? It really irks me!

    Anyhow, this is really a great blog post. I have a few friends that did Jenny Craig within the last few years, and as it does help you lose weight, what happens when you stop & have to cook for yourself? Most probably gain weight back (not all, but most probably do).

    Some of the things you've mentioned in your post, I look at as 'investments'.
    Like the machines you have at home to workout on, your scale, and dumbbells.

    The clothes, race fees, books/magazines, & gym membership, well, those are things that you enjoy & help you feel better and are a different kind of investment in your longevity/health/well-being.

    As for sneakers, I'm a cheapey when it comes to them (guilty of buying at Wal-Mart too). I'm soon going shopping for a better pair though because as you get older you need a shoe that supports your feet better (my Mom has worked in shoe stores most of her life and tells me this all of the time). I'm not a runner, and never will be, but even if you workout, you should have a good sneaker to do it in I think.
    4587 days ago
    You hit the nail on the head when you identify needing the above for mental and physical well being! I also think that your money is well spent. Today I went to the market: $49.00 for 4lbs asparagus, 4 lbs broccoli, 4 lbs carrots (organic) 2.5 lbs organic spinach, 3 cucumbers and strawberries. It seems rather backwards that I would pay this for eating well. Ok. over it.

    At least you don't have other expensive "vices", RIGHT? ;-)

    Keep on going. You are definitely worth it!
    4587 days ago
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